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Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:
Job 21:17-26 Job had largely described the prosperity of wicked people; now, in these verses,
I. He opposes this to what his friends had maintained concerning their certain ruin in this life. “Tell me how often do you see the candle of the wicked put out? Do you not as often see it burnt down to the socket, until it goes out of itself? v. 17. How often do you see their destruction come upon them, or God distributing sorrows in his anger among them? Do you not as often see their mirth and prosperity continuing to the last?” Perhaps there are as many instances of notorious sinners ending their days in pomp as ending them in misery, which observation is sufficient to invalidate their arguments against Job and to show that no certain judgment can be made of men’s character by their outward condition.
II. He reconciles this to the holiness and justice of God. Though wicked people prosper thus all their days, yet we are not therefore to think that God will let their wickedness always go unpunished. No,
1. Even while they prosper thus they are as stubble and chaff before the stormy wind, v. 18. They are light and worthless, and of no account either with God or with wise and good men. …
2. Though they spend all their days in wealth God is laying up their iniquity for their children (v. 19), and he will visit it upon their posterity when they are gone. …
3. Though they prosper in this world, yet they shall be reckoned with in another world. God rewards him according to his deeds at last (v. 19), though the sentence passed against his evil works be not executed speedily. …
III. He resolves this difference which Providence makes between one wicked man and another into the wisdom and sovereignty of God (v. 22): Shall any pretend to teach God knowledge? Dare we arraign God’s proceedings or blame his conduct? Shall we take upon us to tell God how he should govern the world, what sinner he should spare and whom he should punish? He has both authority and ability to judge those that are high. Angels in heaven, princes and magistrates on earth, are accountable to God, and must receive their doom from him. He manages them, and makes what use he pleases of them. Shall he then be accountable to us, or receive advice from us? He is the Judge of all the earth, and therefore no doubt he will do right (Gen. 18:25, Rom. 3:6), and those proceedings of his providence which seem to contradict one another he can make, not only mutually to agree, but jointly to serve his own purposes. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Vol. III—Job to Song of Solomon, (McLean, VA: MacDonald Publishing Co., n.d.), p. 119)
‘’ 19 Now, this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess but confessed freely I am not the Messiah. 21 They asked him, then who are you? Are you Elijah? He said I am not. Are you the prophet? He answered no”.
When priests and Levites interrogated John the Baptist regarding his identity, he testified that he was not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet of Deut. 18:15. The last of the Old Testament Prophets, his public ministry ended 400 years of prophetic silence since Malachi. An ascetic, living in the wilderness, clothed in camel hair, subsisting on locust and wild honey, he preached a message of repentance by water baptism in the spirit of Elijah.
22 Finally they said, who are you? Give us an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself? 23John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of the one calling in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.’’
John the Baptist was the voice in the wilderness preparing the way for the Messiah, Isaiah 40:3, Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:2-3, and Luke 3:3-6. He was the voice, not the WORD, the messenger, not the MESSAGE, the way maker, not the WAY.
John 1: 29-34
V 29, ‘’The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’’
Jesus, the perfect sacrifice fulfilled God’s need for a blood offering. Animal sacrifice was a foreshadow of Jesus Christ the perfect Lamb of God. Hebrew 10: 11-14, ‘’ day after day every priest stands and performs religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifice which can never take away sins. But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God……For by one sacrifice has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.’’
VV 30- 31, ‘’This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” I have seen and testify that this is the Son of God.’’
John the Baptist preceded Jesus by birth , but Jesus preceded John the Baptist in existence because Jesus was pre-existent, self-existent, and eternal, John 1:1.
VV 32-33, Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit’ “.
John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus in the form of a dove, Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, John 1:32. All the three Godheads of the Holy Trinity participated at Jesus’ baptism. As the Father spoke from heaven, the Holy Spirit descended on the Son, Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22.
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus Christ to the cross to become the substitutionary atonement for the sins of mankind. Thank You for Your amazing love, mercy, and grace, in Jesus name, Amen
of the Most Charming Streets in Europe
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Whether you prefer winding cobbled streets of small villages or magnificent ones that cut through continental cities, some roads lead directly to the heart of a destination, revealing its history, culture, and style. Grand European boulevards like the Champs d’Elysee in Paris and Barcelona’s La Rambla may be chosen to host fashion shows, military marches, and sportscar commercials, but other lesser-known streets will take you to places where you’re more likely to encounter locals living, shopping and socializing — with plenty of charming scenery along the way. Wander the routes that people have walked for decades (and sometimes millennia) with this list of Europe’s most charming streets.
Circus Lane (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Don’t come expecting elephants and trapeze artists: Edinburgh’s Circus Lane is named for its semicircular path, not for a noisy big top performance. Just a short block from the trendy bars and cafes of St Stephen Street, this leafy, cobblestone mews (a street lined with houses converted from stables) is quite the contrast to that busy stretch of commerce nearby. The residential street lined with one- and two-story townhouses is, instead, chock full of atmospheric Scottish magic with dark brooding stone fronts offset by window boxes of cheerful flowers and cozy lit-up windows. Even the recent arrival of Instagram-hunters seeking the perfect shot can’t tarnish the pleasant charms of this peaceful wee city lane.
Stradun (Dubrovnik, Croatia)
If your ideal for charm includes symmetry and graceful architecture, you’ll definitely feel the attraction of Stradun, the main thoroughfare in Dubrovnik’s historic old town quarter. Either side of this pedestrian-only street is faced by elegant late Renaissance buildings built of a golden stone. The roads that lead off Stradun are tiny, dim, and narrow in comparison. In the angled sunlight of early morning and late afternoon, the limestone pavement of the street shimmers almost as though wet, lending the wide roadway a somewhat enchanted air as it grandly marches down to the open plaza at the waterfront. (Not only are early morning and late evening the best times to catch the light on this lovely street, but they’re also best for avoiding the typical hordes of tourists.)
Rue de l’Abreuvoir (Paris, France)
Montmartre’s rural past was long behind it when the hilly neighborhood in Paris became known for artists, writers, and the can-can girls sketched by Toulouse-Lautrec. But you can still find remnants of the bucolic days when the steep streets were traveled by horses, like in the name of Rue de l’Abreuvoir, which translates to “Watering Trough Street.” The street’s sturdy paving stones, the brick wall that climbs up one side of the street, and the ivy-bearded houses along its other side have not changed much since French photographer Eugene Atget captured the scene in 1899. If, like many visitors to Paris, you’ve meandered the streets and stairways of Montmartre and fondly remember a distinctive pink corner coffeehouse, La Maison Rose, then you’ve already walked Rue de l’Abreuvoir. (You may also have spotted it in Netflix’s recent hit series, Emily in Paris.)Geography3ptsTest Your Knowledge!The islands of New Britain and New Ireland are part of what country?PLAY!
Brouwersgracht (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
In the case of canal-crossed cities like Venice and Amsterdam, we will liberally interpret the term “charming street” to include waterways, too — as with the dreamy Brouwersgracht. Its name in Dutch refers to the canal’s history as a brewery district, though now those tall, skinny warehouse buildings have been transformed into houses. The ten bridges crossing the canal add to its appeal, as do the houseboats moored along its waters. Brouwersgracht is a great place to check out the striking variations of gables used in Amsterdam — the tops of the houses along Brouwersgracht are capped with everything from simple triangular gables to ornate bell-shaped ones, and ones that look like inverted funnels. Look closely and you’ll usually find a winch and pulley protruding from the gable, a practical addition used for hoisting heavy furniture and supplies to upper floors of these narrow houses.
The Shambles (York, England)
The Shambles, a narrow little street in York, England, is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 (Britain’s earliest public record) and, as you can guess from the photo, its half-timbered facades inspired the description of Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series. If a street can be described as adorable, the Shambles can, thanks to its mullioned bow-front windows, hand-painted hanging signs, and the curving course of its path. Since J.K. Rowling sold more books than William the Conqueror (and pretty much anyone else), more store names along the Shambles today refer to the wizarding world than to the Norman Conquest.
Rue Grande (Saint-Paul de Vence, France)
Maybe naming this street “Rue Grande” was an aspirational act — or maybe grande is relative to the tiny alleys that it intersects — but the main road that bisects the medieval quarter of Saint-Paul de Vence is anything but big. The town, a walled mountain village in Provence’s Alpes Maritimes, has been around since 400 B.C. It has withstood battles and plagues and — since it was rediscovered in the 1920s by French artists like Raoul Dufy and Paul Signac — been beset by hordes of marauding art lovers and tourists, seeking a painterly glimpse of village charm. Fortunately, Rue Grande has charm in spades. The stone pedestrian lane twists and turns past art galleries, perfume shops, ancient fountains, and walled courtyard cafes. (If you’re so enraptured by this beautiful town that you want to spend the night, walk three minutes past the northern end of Rue Grande and check into one of the finest hotels in Europe, La Colombe d’Or.)
Herrngasse (Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany)
It doesn’t take long to understand how Germany’s Romantic Road got its name: This classic drive zooms through picturesque Bavarian scenery, past monumental castles and cathedrals, and slows down to take in storybook towns like Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Rothenburg is almost ridiculously quaint, with half-timbered medieval buildings, watch towers with red conical roofs, ramparts, clock faces mounted on the city gates, and everything arranged perfectly above the Tauber River. You could wander any of the old city’s cobbled streets and find lots to see, but Herrngasse, which cuts a straight line from busy Market Square to the imperial castle gardens, certainly won’t fail to impress. The magnificent merchants’ houses along either side of the wide roadway are painted all manner of colors, from candy pink to dark orange to pistachio green, with window boxes spilling over with even more color. The timber-detailed upper floors rise up to peaked or stepped roof lines. Once the homes of the town elite, the buildings have been converted to hotels, shops, and restaurants.
Written by Ann Shields